And the reason it’s the last Sunday Spin ever is in fact some really good news.
In 2013, Phil has been asked to start his statewide Saturday Breakfast stint at 5 am instead of 6 am. And he has proposed back to the ABC powers-that-be that the first hour could be the Mens Shed and Sunday Spin segments that he already records with regular guests on Fridays. And it seems like that is good to go.
So from late January we will be back on the air with 30 minutes each week on statewide ABC at 5.30 am on Saturdays, and on the digital ABC across Australia at 2.30pm on Sundays.
We’re going to need a new name … what would you call it? (The Spinsters??)
Quite a few people have found this year’s Tour de France a disappointment. Those who were expecting Cadel Evans to repeat his heroics of a year ago might be a large group among the disappointed.
Ain’t no cycling hero like a French cycling hero in the Tour de France. Tommy Voeckler was indisputably THE character of this year’s Tour, and the No 1 fan favourite. All that & funny faces too.
I will admit now that although I hoped for Cadel to repeat, I never thought he had a good chance to win this year’s Tour. Although there were unanswered questions about Brad Wiggins (could he stand the pressure of favouritism, and could he last the distance in the biggest three week tour on the planet), there was also no doubt that Wiggins came to the Tour with the best form and the strongest team.
I don’t think that most of us appreciated how strong Sky were going to be, until the Tour hit the mountains.
Cadel’s chances were obviously hurt by a combination of factors: a slightly disrupted preparation, the distraction within Team BMC of the poor form of expensive new signings Philippe Gilbert and Thor Hushovd, the absence of Andy Schleck to animate the race in the mountains, the rise and rise of Sky, etc etc
It is of course easy to be wise after the event, so I’m glad I said some of this on the digital airwaves in the Sunday Spin Tour preview with Nick O’Donnell and Jim Trail (where I picked Wiggins for the win … the other two both went with Cadel).
Cadel and Wiggins are quite similar types of Tour rider. That is, they both prefer a steady pace in the mountains, and their strength is in the time trial. Wiggins is right now at the perfect peak phase of his career, whereas Cadel is on the downslope of his career. I think he has passed his peak, physically. Still a hell of a competitor, but it might be that his one Tour win will turn out to be 2011.
Looking forward 12 months to the next tour is a bit of a mug’s game. So many things will happen between now and next July. But, being a mug has never been a problem for me. So here’s some things that I will predict, that almost certainly will turn out to be untrue.
The 2013 Tour will be fought out between Brad Wiggins (Sky), Alberto Contador (Saxobank), and Chris Froome (some other team apart from Sky).
Non-factors in the 2013 GC: Andy Schleck, Cadel Evans.
Looming larger and larger as contenders in 2013: Tejay Van Garderen, and possibly even Thibaut Pinot (although Marc Madiot should try and bring him along slowly, and get him ready to win a Tour by the time he is 26-27).
This year’s Tour reminded me a lot of the days of Miguel Indurain, which is when I first started watching the Tour on SBS in the early 90s. Back then we used to get 30 minute highlights each night.
Indurain was a monster in the time trials, and just used to grind it out on the climbs. He was undroppable.
Wiggins is the best undroppable time triallist I have seen since Indurain. It will be up to other riders to make the Tour more attacking, but Wiggins has the class to win at least a couple more Tours with the method he used this year.
The possible flies in that particular ointment can only be Contador or Froome. Andy Schleck might yet have a role to play, as another attacker in the mountains, but there’s no way he can win a(nother) Grand Tour. Schleck just doesn’t have the combination of strengths needed in an era when there are excellent time triallists going around.
This time last year I was exhausted by the Tour, but also jubilant.
This year, I’m pleased that the best man has won the Tour, and that he had a lot of help from Australians.
The future of both Australian and British cycling is really strong. And even the French are coming back.
Here’s a link to today’s Sunday Spin, in which Phil Smith and I briefly touch on the Tour. We also talk to Hamish Fitzsimons about Dirty Deeds Cyclocross, and there’s also the interviews from Pushies Galore that readers of this site have already had the chance to hear.
Earlier this week I interviewed Imogen Smith, for the Sunday Spin. That’s the clip just up there on this page. Imogen was a super successful mountain biker, especially in enduro races, when I was first getting into mountain biking.
So its thanks to AB for the tip. Imogen turned out to be not just an interesting interview subject, but a total delight to meet and talk with. So engrossing was our conversation (to me at least) that I forgot to do some basic things, like take her picture.
Even more embarrassing was a Total Radio Journalism Fail on my part … starting to “record” the interview with the machine still on Rec/Pause. About 10 minutes in I looked at the recorder, to see that it wasn’t. The next clip is just after that moment.
Lots going on in briztreadleyworld at the moment, all about cycling, but not as much popping up as posts on the site.
Lining up some really interesting interviews for the Sunday Spin, the first of which is happening this morning.
Massive weekend on the bikes … six hours with the road bunch on Saturday (Sanctuary Cove & back), and a super-fun but tiring mtb time in Nerang forest yesterday with ‘Coaster’ Steve & Emma & Mark & Brendan. So the Canungra 6-hour was postponed again? Bummer for TWP, but okay for me because I think Gina might join me in a team for the rescheduled race. That would be so good!
Just ignore the first 30 seconds of this, and enjoy the podcast of Natasha Mitchell hosting ABC Radio National’s Life Matters program this morning. Featuring yours truly, and Dr Matt Burke from Griffith Uni (a great bloke who I like a lot, but my goodness that man is a talker!) and Pip Carroll from the Squeaky Wheel, who doesn’t get enough of a go in this show but is worth listening to.
And, amazingly, talkback callers who made sense and had a positive contribution to make and were all, to a woman and man, positive about cycling. Radio National audience, I think I love you. I’m already married, otherwise I would propose right now.
Here is this week’s Sunday Spin, with a focus on commuting and an interview with Gavin Bannerman about the upcoming Pushies Galore event.
I’m about to head off to Mount Perry for a mountain bike race that I just love.
Rebecca Rusch leading the two men who finished one-two in the Dirty Kanza, Rusty & Dan.
And getting me going this morning is an inspirational story from Rebecca Rusch, Specialized-sponsored enduro mtb racer in the US. Last weekend Rebecca raced a 200 mile dirt road event called the Dirty Kanza 200. And finished third, overall. A-freakin-MAZE-ing!
Had a nice day out at We Like Bikes with my young friend & colleague Lauren. And visits from Gavin, Mitch, Liam, Ian & Lisa, Jon, Noel & Jenny, Paul. And plenty of people who just wanted to know something about riding a bicycle in Brisbane.
The picture is two of Liam’s friends, Paul and I’m truly very sorry I don’t know his partner’s name even though we had a nice chat. Raleigh roadsters, with 3-speed Sturmey Archer hubs. And checks. Matchingenough?
On the Sunday Spin this week we had Jon Giles talking about his upcoming event, Style Over Speed. I shall have to see if the owner of a lovely new Brompton wants to come along for that one.
Have a listen to the Sunday Spin here if you missed it yesterday (because you were out riding, of course!)
… even on a Sunday Spin which is all about getting more women to ride, men still outnumbered.
So if I point that out upfront, at least you know that I know. OK.
But if we look at the quality ratio, it evens things out. Because a car-free & cyclocross-happy Kate Lansell and a cyclo-poetic-blogosphere superstar Eleanor Jackson easily trumps Phil Smith & me.
And if you add in Rowan Lamont, sensitive new-age mtb teacher, you get a very interesting discussion about all things to do with getting on your bike and having fun. Regardless of which category of genital equipment you are (hopefully) concealing.